Processing Community Day @ Chicago


@aljabear things just got a little complicated here because our classes (and Ari’s workshop at DePaul) were canceled on Thursday because of the weather—I should have things worked out by the end of the day, but maybe don’t send out the updated schedule just yet. :slight_smile:


Ok whew all set. Ari’s staying through Monday now, so we’re more flexible on schedule. Hope everyone’s staying warm!


Great. I’ll update the schedule on the EventBrite now, and send an email to participants tomorrow.

Do any of you have any questions or requests for me to add into this communication? I intend to ask whether anyone has questions, wants to know about lunch options, etc. I’ll also make sure they have a laptop to bring, and recommend they install a text editor (Atom, Sublime, or VSCode, I guess). Anything else?

@kjhollen, can you assemble a brief introduction of Ari I can read?

Actually, that’s a good point. @funkstart, @jdpirtle, @jonchambers can you give me some introductory text for your talks as well, to read aloud to tell people about your workshops? A couple of sentences: who you are, and what stuff you will cover. Thanks.




I’ll also plan to get there around 8:30 to help out.

Here’s a little blurb about my workshop:

Jon Chambers is an artist and educator based in Chicago. For his workshop, Jon will be using the p5 DOM library to create a nonlinear and interactive narrative project. We will be learning how to create HTML elements from code, build custom functions to trigger different scenes, and use these HTML elements to generate interactivity within the scenes.

See you soon!


Thanks @jonchambers. @kjhollen @jdpirtle, need a little blurb to introduce you.

I have updated the EventBrite page with all relevant info. The schedule there is the latest.

I just sent an email to all attendees.

Now I have to work on my workshop, lol. :slight_smile:


Ok cool, I’ll meet you all there at 8:30! Here’s the info for my workshop.

Kate Hollenbach is an artist who examines interactive systems and new technologies relating body, gesture, and physical space. In her workshop, she’ll introduce programming and drawing concepts using p5.js.

I’ve asked Ari for a short bio for her introduction. One note for the schedule, Ari will run a workshop rather than a talk and I think we were planning for 90 minutes. Is it ok if the morning lightning talks are only an hour?

Thanks @aljabear for taking care of the space and schedule. Looking forward to a great day.


@kjhollen Oh, ok. I misunderstood. Yes, we can reduce the lightning talks accordingly. I will fix.

What do you think the skill level will be for Ari’s workshop? Do you think we should move her into one of the afternoon slots, maybe move your intro-level workshop to the morning? I guess it depends on which of the workshops will appeal to everybody. We can adjust.


@aljabear thanks! I think Ari’s workshop is going to be beginner friendly, but I’ll check. I’m ok with running my workshop earlier, and maybe even condensing to an hour if that fixes things—and ok with adhoc lightning talks or some such happening at the same time.


Thanks, Allan and everyone for all the work you put into this. Allan, do we have any sense of the makeup of attendees? Profession, interest, experience level?

I’ll send a blurb over in a bit.

Is 8:30 the ideal time to show up and help? Or earlier?


Here’s Ari’s bio:

Ari Melenciano is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, designer, creative technologist and DJ who is passionate about exploring the relationships between various forms of design and the human experience. She is the founder and producer of new media arts, culture and technology festival, Afrotectopia, and a research fellow at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications program. Her research lies at the intersections art/design, psycho-geography, pedagogy, geo-political activism, speculative design, and imaginative uses of human-computer interaction technologies.


@jdpirtle I don’t have much information about who has signed up, besides seeing their email addresses, unfortunately. Judging by names and email addresses, we will have a diverse group, with a lot of people from various universities. I have seen a few SAIC email addresses, but I bet it will be a broader group.

We have sold this generally as a beginning-level conference, for people with no skills. My hunch: I expect true beginners will be in the minority. The workshops have also settled into two tracks: one for beginners and another for intermediate-level folks. I consider your talk to probably be in the latter category, so feel free to assume people have some experience with programming or Processing: if they don’t they can attend the other track. I doubt they will be very advanced however. Does this help?

Thanks @kjhollen for the blurb. So I guess I can switch your talk and Ari’s. I don’t think we need to condense your talk, unless you want to. I think we have enough time for lightning talks. My only concern is that Ari’s talk may cannibalize Jon’s talk about the DOM Library. @jonchambers, any thoughts?


Oh, I just chatted with our facilities manager, and due to an event happening today (Friday) until 7pm (our library’s closing time), we will be setting up everything in the morning, starting at 8am.
So, @kjhollen, @jdpirtle, @jonchambers, any of you are welcome to come as early as 8am for labor, setting up tables and power strips, etc.

Coffee should arrive at 9am.


Another possibility to is to move 2 workshops for the 9:15-10:45 spot and then have Ari’s workshop as a standalone after lunch? If we’re worried about putting Ari and Jon back to back. Thinking about it a little more, I’m worried that experienced teachers + coders will find my workshop boring, so I’m not sure it makes sense to have that be a standalone, but it makes sense to do it early in the day for people that are new to this and want to attend other workshops. What do you think?

And yes I can plan to get there at 8!


Here’s my blurb:

JD Pirtle is an artist, educator, and technologist based in Chicago. Currently, he focuses on how learners of all ages use traditional/emerging technology for creativity, inquiry, and research. He is the founder and principal of Depth and Light, an education, technology, and design studio + consultancy.


I think this merits a bit of discussion…generally, if there are concurrent sessions on the same broad topic in a conference setting, it makes sense to make two tracks…like, a beginners track and an intermediate track, or maybe one track focused on learning and one focused on applications?


To be more specific, should Kate and I occupy one track (morning and then afternoon) that is more beginner focused? I planned on doing most of my stuff in Python mode…and showing examples of how to teach a broad range of folks who are beginners, so if Kate is teaching p5.js it might make sense to see beginner’s examples of each. Likewise, if what Jon and Allan plan to teach is more intermediate or application specific, could be wise to have them be on one track. Just a thought.


Cool! For context, here’s a rough outline of what I have planned for my workshop:

We won’t be using github per se—I’m going to type these examples into the online editor—I just wanted a place for attendees to be able to reference them after the workshop.

I think we will likely get through example #6, with a few breaks in between to stop and let people experiment. If the audience is a little more experienced, I expect either they’ll go to the other workshop track or we’ll talk more about teaching, so it could make sense to put JD’s session and mine in the same track.

I think Ari’s workshop will be beginner/intermediate friendly for folks who have gone to my workshop or have experience from elsewhere, but I just wrote to her to check.


So, I think we only have the second room (“Space B”) in the afternoon, from 12:30 on.

I attempted to organize two tracks, one for beginners, and one for intermediate; beginners are in “Space A”, and intermediates are in “Space B”. Space B is only available in the afternoon. A is bigger than B, and can hold all attendees at once; I intend to do a straw poll early in the day to gauge interest; if we need to swap A & B in the afternoon to accommodate bodies, that’s OK.

Make sense? Or am I not understanding your concern?

My talk will be quite beginner-focused. @jdpirtle are you saying your talk is also for beginners? Which is OK; I assumed you were providing techniques for teaching, which seemed to target people with experience; I’m sorry for the error.


Oh! I think I’m also confused. I’m in Space A…which is for beginners? I am happy to do whatever makes sense for everyone else. My first example uses some looping, so definitely not absolute beginners per se. Maybe it makes sense for folks to attend Kate’s talk first, based on what basics are being covered? The main idea of my talk is how and why to teach Processing to primarily non-CS majors, but I also will touch on how to teach Processing to CS folks.


JD, I think I have you in Space B. The schedule above is obsolete.

Does this help to clear things up?

I think we’re all leaning toward putting Kate in the morning, and Ari in the afternoon, both in Space A, followed by yours truly. You and Jon are the “intermediate” track in Space B. Does this make sense?

If nobody has any objections, I’ll update things within the hour.